Posted In // Design Tips
According to the Small Business Administration, 99.7% of businesses in the United States qualify as small businesses (those with less than 100 employees). If your company has passed the 5 year mark--before which 50% of start-ups can expect to fail—you may have reached both an exciting and frustrating milestone. With bottom lines getting met, satisfied customers, and demand enough to keep your staff busier than ever, it can still be hard to determine whether you’re still too small to go big, or too big to stay small. How can you be sure it’s time to start expanding your business?
1. You’ve Met Your Goals
After taking the time to look over your original business plan, and considering any course corrections you’ve made, have you been able to meet your goals for the company? Sales records and revenue are a great way to measure your performance and results, but feedback from employees and clients can be just as valuable. Are there any important goals you have yet to achieve that should postpone your company’s growth? Surpassing your objectives can provide the confidence you’ll need to take the next big leap.
2. You’ve Done Your Homework
If you’re thinking of growing in another new direction, are considering adding additional locations, or are thinking of taking on some creative financing, it pays to have a complete understanding of your market, any potential roadblocks that could be in your path, and what you can realistically expect as a return. What works in one area may not work in another, and laws and regulations can change from place to place. If you have developed a detailed expansion plan that can address as many what-if scenarios as possible in both production and operation and things still look good, expanding business could be your next move.
3. You’ve Got the Capital
A major growing pain in expanding business is the increase in funds needed to back the development. Nothing kills a great idea or a great small company like a cash flow crisis. Since it might take time to see the profits from the new endeavor, a smart business owner will keep a good eye on the bottom line, monitor expenses and ROI, and also let growth be guided by their business’s ability to generate and manage the cash, not just by making a profit. If you’re confident that you can stay in the black while expanding business, it may be time to grow.
4. You’ve Got a Strong Consumer Base
One of the most encouraging signs that you’re ready to expand your business is a strong and healthy consumer base of your goods or services. Are you doing less chasing and more servicing? According to BIA/Kelsey, more than 61% of small businesses report that more than half of their revenue comes from repeat business. Is your referral and repeat customer business strong? If you feel you’ve got some momentum and could maintain the same standard of quality and service customers have come to expect during a phase of growth, it’s a good indicator that your business could outgrow its current framework and benefit from expansion.
5. You’ve Got a Great Team
Leaders are only as good as their teams, and expanding your business will only be possible if you can share your vision with a group of effective and supportive teammates. As your business changes and grows, your role in the company will likely change as well. You can expect to delegate even more and relinquish some duties altogether; are the right employees in place to fuel and manage sustainable, scalable growth? If you can answer with a solid ‘Yes,’ then it sounds like you have the foundation needed to start expanding your business.
Need a Bigger Vision for Your Expanding Business?
At Beaux Arts Group, we excel as more than a full service commercial furniture dealer. From interior designers and architects with an established design vision to small businesses that need step-by-step assistance, we balance our services to meet your needs.